Tea Party wing of Republican Party - 2013 Shutdown
Tea Party wing of Republican Party - Unconstitutional Methods?
Strange and Helpful Tips - Dec. 2011
West Virginia Coal Mining Pollution - posted 9 September 2007
U.S. Forest Sale ? - posted 31 March 2006
Arizona Proposition 106 (yes) - posted 20 September 2006 - VOTED DOWN
Arizona Proposition 201 (yes) - posted 20 September 2006 - PASSED
LEGAL: The opinions and comments of this blog are those of the author, John Byers, and may be in error or speculative.
I approve my comments as long as I post them on the Internet. I offer my blog as a private citizen
that has the freedom to speak without repression according to the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights (amendments to the U.S.A. Constitution).
I was thinking of making this site anonymous to protect myself from any possible retribution to
what I might write but there is a new federal law (5 Jan 2006, H.R. 3402)
that makes it a crime to do the following (relevant language): "Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate
telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet...
without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the
communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.".
So that is why I have stated my identity. My intent is not to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass - but I can't
help it if someone out there somewhere is annoyed. The main problem with this law is the "annoy" part so the law
probably will be challenged legally by others who annoy more than I might.
The effect is that I must be careful not to become extreme (I don't want to be anyway) and to think a little more
before I write (which is a good thing). Still, I'm not sure this law is very good as it tends to stifle expression on
controversial/political issues since we are unclear about the law's intent. The democracy of the USA is based, as far as I understand,
on freedom of expression, discussion, and information - so any laws that contrains these (either intentionally or unintentionally) are somewhat anti-democratic and repressive.
MY BACKGROUND: My appreciation for nature and civic responsibilities was formed by the Boy Scouts. I most enjoyed the camping
experiences in Colorado (especially Camp Tahosa - which was almost sold many years later except for protests from former scouts).
I became an Eagle Scout where I learned the Scout Laws to be:
TRUSTWORTHY (tell the truth, keep promises), LOYAL (to family, friends, nation), HELPFUL (for other people without pay), FRIENDLY
(friend to all, tries to understand others, respects ideas and customs of others), COURTEOUS (polite to everyone, has good manners),
KIND (treats others as he wants to be treated, does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason), OBEDIENT (follows the rules and laws.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them), CHEERFUL
(cheerfully does tasks, tries to make others happy), THRIFTY (self reliant and not wasteful, saves for unforeseen needs, protects and conserves natural resources),
BRAVE (faces danger even if afraid, courage to stand for what he thinks is right), CLEAN (keeps home/community clean and mind fit and healthy),
REVERENT (reverent toward God and religious duties while respecting beliefs of others).
The scouting experience and many others made me seek higher education as an Entomology major where I earned B.S. and M.S. degrees (Colorado State University)
and Ph.D. degree (University of California, Berkeley) and then a Docent degree in Ecology (Lund University, Sweden). Therefore, while I'm
not always an expert in some of the issues treated in my blog, I do have enough background to make educated guesses.
So as a citizen with good intentions based on the Scout Laws I offer my thoughts on social and scientific issues about the environment and ecology (and perhaps other issues).